izhilzha (izhilzha) wrote,

Writing: can it be both career and life purpose?

Disclaimer: this is me venting and wondering at length about my decision to live in L.A. and pursue screenwriting/TV writing, and the consequences that has for my life as a whole, and my difficulties figuring out how this should work and what I'm willing to give up for it (and not).

I've been making more progress, this year, in writing projects that might actually help me advance towards my goals: writing for the screen, particularly the small screen of scripted television. I finished the first draft of my CSI spec script, and am now starting to rewrite it; I'm partway into the first draft of a Supernatural spec, and had my writer's group read my preliminary outline and discuss it with me last night.

I'm grateful for my writer's group, because they're wise and talented people who share both my vision and my faith, but sometimes.... Grrr. I went into this particular meeting hoping I could get some ideas for improving the plot or structure of my spec, and I did get some of that (particularly, an idea on how to bring Sam's greatest fear to the forefront in a way that fits the creepy thing going on in my story *rubs hands gleefully*). But the rest of the evening turned into people giving me advice on what I should and shouldn't be spending my time writing.

On the one hand, fine. There were some good points made, such as the fact that if people like my CSI, they're going to want to see other procedural specs I've written, and given that, I should probably be working up treatments for specs for House, Bones, Numb3rs, maybe Ghost Whisperer (since it's more popular in the ratings than Medium). And the wish was expressed that I continue working on my murder mystery at the fan convention film script, because nobody's done it yet, and it's creative and interesting.

On the other hand, I was told by one of the guys (our straight shooter, who's really great at figuring out what's wrong with scripts and how to fix them) that he doesn't think I should write the Supernatural spec: it's not well known, so the script won't be useful; it's a waste of time when I could be working on other things; it's not a strong enough idea to make it a good spec for catching an agent.

Also, he mentioned again that I really don't write fast enough to write for television.

Part of me thinks he might be right, at least about spending more time on my film script and working up some treatment ideas for other procedural shows (I'm terrified to try actually writing a House spec, lol). But I like my SPN spec, and I don't want to stop working on it. I wanted to yell at him that he can't tell me what the frell to I should or shouldn't be writing--I do want to have something besides procedurals in my portfolio at some point. I can write action, and I'd like a chance to prove that. I can write fantasy, the supernatural, and I'd like a chance to prove that, too.

I just don't have enough time for everything, and choosing what to work on first, when I thought I was doing okay at meeting my goals for the year, is really frustrating. I may drop the SPN for a few weeks (at this point I'd like to see how they start shaping the new season, anyway) and go ahead and finish the CSI rewrite.

And, of course, what follows on the heels of this (always) is guilt that I spend time writing fan fiction. Ever, at all, even that I spend time writing stuff like this on a blog. Is this a waste of my precious time?

There's one thing in the world that I know I do well, one thing. Writing. That's mostly why I'm still turning out fan fiction, even while I have other things to work on: to survive. To know that I'm doing something well, something that speaks to people. To have a part of my life that isn't on such a steep learning curve that I feel like my back and heart might break.

I'm not willing to give that up. I've got to have something to hang onto as worthwhile in and of itself, while I strive to meet goals that I may never conquer.

And then I question even that: am I sabotaging myself by not being strong enough to focus exclusively on working in television?

I don't know. Right this second, right now as I'm typing, I just don't know.
Tags: contemplative, csi, fan fiction, lj, my fics, real life, spec, supernatural, writing

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